2008 Debates

Oh, It's An Irish-Catholic Thing

This 'one'. That 'one'. Another 'one'. Chris Matthews says that it is an old Irish-Catholic thing. And I am inclined to agree. John McCain was born an Episcopalian Scots-Irish American. But he would be old enough to have picked-up on this use of the word "one."

School teacher: "You're a smart one."

Grandma (let's call her Rose): "Which one of you little devils broke my coffee mug? That one!"

John McCain:

And Mocean Worker quickly produced this great little diddy (H/T to Driftglass for finding this):

Obama Unleases 'Keating Five' Attack Video

Obama waited for Palin to open her mouth and accuse him of 'palling around with terrorists [plural!]' before unleashing his most vicious attack yet. At Noon Eastern time, the attack was publically released on YouTube. Here is Obama's 14-minute Keating Five documentary. Spread it around. Keep in mind McCain and Obama have a town hall debate tomorrow night. This video will help set the agenda against McCain. McCain scored major points unveiling Palin the day after Obama's historic acceptance speech in Denver. This is Obama scoring points in response. Well played.

Michigan Stays Blue / Palin's Huge Gamble

McCain pulls out of Michigan. He has canceled TV ads, and is closing his Michigan campaign offices. With Obama now surprising everyone with a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania polls, McCain has sounded the alarm to fall back and regroup.

Oh, and his campaign is beginning to run short on cash. Not good.

And in Palin news today, her handlers have revealed her strategy: aggressively go after Biden:

“This is going to finally put her back into a position where we see her like we saw her the first couple weeks,” a McCain official said. “She was herself. She was authentic, and people related to that. ... Tonight, she’ll get into a rhythm. You’re going to see her in a way that you haven’t seen her yet.”

Really? I thought she was just going to portray herself as a humble regular Jane Doe. But, if she wants to go down swinging at the wrong guy, she can go right ahead.

Andrew Halcro's Debate Advice For Joe Biden

Andrew Halcro: What It's Like To Debate Sarah Palin

On April 18, 2006, Palin and I sat together in a hotel coffee shop comparing campaign trail notes. As we talked about the debates, Palin made a comment that highlights the phenomenon that Biden is up against.

"Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers, and yet when asked questions, you spout off facts, figures, and policies, and I'm amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, 'Does any of this really matter?' " Palin said.

While policy wonks such as Biden might cringe, it seemed to me that Palin was simply vocalizing her strength without realizing it. During the campaign, Palin's knowledge on public policy issues never matured – because it didn't have to. Her ability to fill the debate halls with her presence and her gift of the glittering generality made it possible for her to rely on populism instead of policy.


So what does that mean for Biden? With shorter question-and-answer times and limited interaction between the two, he should simply ignore Palin in a respectful manner on the stage and answer the questions as though he were alone. Any attempt to flex his public-policy knowledge and show Palin is not ready for prime time will inevitably cast him in the role of the bully.

On the other side of the stage, if Palin is to be successful, she needs to do what she does best: fill the room with her presence and stick to the scripted sound bites.

IIf McCain Were A Democrat, This Election Would Be OVER

From the McCain campaign:

Senator McCain has spent the morning talking to members of the Administration, members of the Senate, and members of the House. He is optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement now that there is a framework for all parties to be represented in negotiations, including Representative Blunt as a designated negotiator for House Republicans. The McCain campaign is resuming all activities and the Senator will travel to the debate this afternoon. Following the debate, he will return to Washington to ensure that all voices and interests are represented in the final agreement, especially those of taxpayers and homeowners.
Does this not make McCain look totally insane? Again, the question of judgment and temperament is front-and-center when observing the actions of candidate McCain. First, there was the selection of Sarah Palin without proper vetting and due diligence. And on Wednesday, we saw McCain panic and request that tonight's debate be postponed or even canceled just minutes after talking to Obama on the phone. Minutes! This is a dangerous, unstable man.

Why isn't this thing over? McCain's behavior this week is the biggest self-inflected wound I have ever seen a presidential nominee inflict on himself.

How could McCain tell David Letterman that he was canceling his media appearances to fly to DC to 'save the country', only to schedule new interviews with Katie Couric and others? He didn't suspend his campaign, either. In other words, he lied. Actually he lied, panicked, called for a time-out, lied some more, arrived in DC, postured, disrupted, accomplished nothing, and is now lying again, hoping everyone forgets he asked for a time-out.

Please, Obama. Deal the death blows tonight. I have faith in you.

Spencer Ackerman:

So, in summary: Humiliating failure. John McCain didn't screw the pooch. He was the pooch.